We are Loake

ANDREW LOAKE SPENDS FIVE MINUTES WITH… 

It’s something of a cliché to say that a business is defined by its people – and, although I have a dislike of clichés, they usually become clichés because they’re true.  So, Loake Shoemakers is defined by its people – the people who make our shoes, the people who sell them, the people who wear them and the people who get so excited about them, they want to tell others about them.

By sharing a few words with some of the people who appear in our “We Are Loake” marketing creative, here we hope to give an insight into life at Loake and in particular the lives and dedication of those who make our shoes.


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CHRIS PROWSE

What does your typical day involve?
My job involves stitching shoe uppers and in particular shoes that are sent back for repairs.  There’s a wonderful satisfaction in making things last longer.

Favourite style?
If I have a favourite style, it would have to be the “Brighton” loafer – but that’s probably because I make the uppers for them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this job?
I previously worked in retail and merchandising, and I suppose if I didn’t have my current job that’s what I’d still be doing. But I’ve always had a passion for shoes.

Advice?
One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is that you get out of life what you’re prepared to put in – and I think that’s the key to job satisfaction. The best advice I could pass on would be to live every day as if it was your last.

Something others might not know about you?
At one time I seriously considered emigrating to Australia. And my pet hate is spitting!


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STEVE ABBOTT

What does your typical day involve?
I’m a sole-stitcher, sewing leather (or rubber) soles onto the welts.  To do this I operate one of the most heavy-duty sewing machines in the industry.  It can stitch through 1/2 inch of leather!

I’ve worked in the shoe trade for most of my working life (although I did have a brief spell in a fish-and-chip shop) and I’m one of the many people who have been with Loake for more than a quarter of a century!

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this job?
If I wasn’t working in the shoe trade, I’ve always dreamed of being an airline pilot.
But the thing I’m most looking forward to right now is having a well-earned pint after a hard day’s work.

Advice?
The best advice I have been given is to keep safe and healthy (although my main vice is smoking).

Something others might not know about you?
I‘m something of a jigsaw fanatic and I Iove cycling. My pet hate is washing up.


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STEVE ALLEN

What is your role at Loake?
I’ve always loved shoes and have been in the shoe trade ever since leaving school. It’s just never occurred to me to do anything else. Before I joined Loake I had my own footwear business. It was very stressful, but I’m glad I gave it a go. I work in Quality Control now and feel the same sense of satisfaction every time I see a finished pair of shoes carefully wrapped and packed into their box.

Something others might not know about you?
Although I’m known as a bit of a joker, I’m actually quite shy.

Advice?
Always treat others as you expect to be treated yourself.

Biggest vice?
Not admitting to the wife when I’m the wrong!

Favourite style?
It’s got to be the Chester brogue in Tan. They look great with jeans and have become justifiably one of Loake’s signature styles.


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PHIL ALLEN

What is your role at Loake?
I’ve worked in the shoe trade for most of my life, although prior to this I did have a short spell as a delivery driver. I’m now in charge of what’s called the Making Room.  That’s the part of production that begins with the uppers being lasted and attached to the insoles and ends at the point where the heels are attached.  I’m responsible for ensuring work is of the highest quality and also that production targets are met.

The best part of your job?
Friday! In all seriousness though, I’m proud of my part in guaranteeing the craftsmanship for which Loake is renowned.

And the worst part?
I’ll go to great lengths to avoid paperwork.

What are you most looking forward to?
Most days bring new challenges – so a day that runs totally smoothly would be very welcome!


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SHANE HALES

What does your typical day involve?
I currently work in the Making Room, but having been in the shoe trade since I was 15, I’ve been able to take the opportunity to master most of the processes required to make a pair of Loake Goodyear Welted shoes. At Loake, we aim to be proficient at as many of the highly skilled processes as possible. The best part of the job is seeing a really good finished product. The worst part is making a mistake and having to do it again, but this doesn’t happen very often!

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this job?
If I wasn’t in the shoe trade, I’d like to have an outdoor job – something in the countryside, maybe a gamekeeper.

Pet hate?
I don’t like bad manners and people who have no respect for others.

Biggest vice?
I think you’d be best to ask my partner that one!

Andrew-E-Loake-Signature

 

 

Andrew E Loake

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